Demand Matters: German Wheat Market Integration 1806-1855 in a European Context
This study analyzes annual wheat prices in 13 German cities in the years 1806 to 1855, together with wheat price series from 44 other European and American cities. The method used is a dynamic factor model, which allows for distinguishing common price uctuations on international and national levels. I find a significant increase of price synchronization between German cities and international markets, between the first and the second quarter of the 19th Century. This is probably mainly due to the increased demand for food imports in Britain and the disappearance of political barriers, as well as economies of scale and gradual improvements to existing transportation technology. Within Germany, I find increasing common price uctuations in Mannheim and Munich, which arguably refl ects a customs union effect. Tree ring records as indicators of general plant growth conditions indicate that comovement was not driven by exogenous shocks.
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